John Amato, founder of beloved local screen printing company, Jupmode, teamed up with his wife, artist and teacher Maura Meyers Amato, to create a hand-drawn coloring book filled with Toledo landmarks. The Toledo City Paper caught up with Maura to learn more about the You Will do better in Toledo book.
How did the idea for this project come about?
The coloring book was John’s idea. He became interested in the concept after I had been experimenting with interactive paint-by-number-style murals. Since my work is primarily black and white, it was a natural transition into coloring book illustrations. We chose what to feature in the book by asking family and friends. We tried to pick locations from different regions of Toledo that were compositionally interesting. We wanted to choose places that were historically significant, culturally relevant, and homegrown establishments that make people proud of our area.
How did you collaborate with Jupmode on this project?
I spent two to three hours per drawing and additional time gathering reference pictures. Jupmode then handled page layouts, organization and other logistics. It’s a great gift and conversation piece for everyone who pages through it.
Compare the process of making a coloring book and the process of making a mural?
The coloring book and mural processes are pretty similar. They both start with a scale drawing of the subject matter in pen. A mural takes things one step further when it is projected and then painted onto a wall. Conceptually, a huge challenge was narrowing down a list of places to include in the book.
How does the coloring book exemplify the message of “You will do better in Toledo”?
This coloring book shows how “You will do better in Toledo,” providing reasons to want to be here! Great Metroparks that let us explore the Ohio landscape, historical sites to investigate and admire, local businesses that we feel good about supporting, sporting events that bring family and friends together, schools that help shape our worldview. Completing this book was a great reminder for me of how lucky we are to have all of these fantastic resources at our fingertips. I hope that these illustrations will be a reminder of what a great community of people and places we have here.
The coloring books, $18, can be purchased online at jupmode.com, at the retail store, 2022 Adams St. and at The Art Supply Depo, 29 S St. Clair St.